The labour market has remained flat this year, but average earnings have risen.
Survey data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that overall employment rates have risen slightly - up 47,000 the first three months to 27.9 million - but there has been little change in the working age employment rates (74.6 per cent).
The number of women in employment rose by 68,000 to 12.9 million, the highest level since the ONS started the Labour Force Survey in 1984.
Unemployment rates have fallen slightly to 1.5 million, with 2,100 fewer people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in April than in March.
The rate of growth for average earnings was 3.4 per cent for the year to March 2003. Earnings growth in the manufacturing sector has risen to 4.7 per cent from 4.2 per cent, and to 2.3 per cent from 1.9 per cent in the private sector services.
By Roisin Woolnough